Dell Unveils $999 XPS Notebook

Dell has added a new inexpensive notebook to its premium XPS product line just a few weeks after it introduced the new brand, and also will offer a desktop PC with backup technology, the company is expected to announce Wednesday.

The XPS M140 will become the second XPS notebook in Dell's arsenal when it starts shipping in November, said Sam Burd, director of client product marketing at Dell. It uses a 14.1-inch widescreen display, the first time Dell has offered that size display in a widescreen format, and weighs 5.5 pounds. At only $999 for the base configuration, the M140 is a low-cost entry point into Dell's new XPS category.

M140 Specs

The XPS brand is Dell's attempt to sell home users a premium product designed for playing games or watching movies that also comes with a higher level of support than available with its standard Inspiron notebooks or Dimension desktops. With the PC market expected to slow in coming years, Dell is hoping that customers will be willing to part with more money for a flashier product with top-of-the-line components and support representatives dedicated to the XPS products.

Most of the initial XPS products were desktops, but the company also introduced the $2699 M170 notebook in September. The M170 uses a 17-inch display and comes with several high-end features not found on the M140, such as Nvidia's GeForce Go 6800 Ultra graphics card.

The M140 comes with Intel's Pentium M 740 processor, 512MB of DDR2 memory, a 40GV hard drive, Intel's integrated graphics technology, a CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive, a five-in-one media card reader, and Intel's 802.11b/g wireless chip for $999. It uses Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 operating system. Customers can order the M140 immediately, but it will not begin shipping until November.

New: Dimension E310 Desktop

Dell also was expected to introduce the Dimension E310 desktop Wednesday. Dell's customers will be able to order this desktop with the company's DataSafe backup technology for an extra $99.

With the rise in the use of home digital media, consumers are very concerned about the permanency of their home movies and photos, Burd said. Users who aren't comfortable setting up their own Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks (RAID) configurations or using an external hard drive now have the option of Dell's DataSafe technology, which adds a second hard drive and software that allows users to automatically back up files to the E310, he said.

Like the M140, the E310 is immediately available to order but will not ship until November. A base configuration costs $599 with Microsoft's Windows XP Media Center OS, Intel's Pentium 4 521 processor, 256MB of DDR2 memory, an 80GB hard drive, Intel's integrated graphics and audio technology, a CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive, and a 17-inch CRT monitor.

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